Chapter Two, Part One
A Room from Which to View the Stars
Once the security agent swiped her identification card through a reader, a wide door opened to another hallway, this one white and well-lit, but also very long and empty. The couple followed her down it, saying nothing because the agent did not seem to want them to talk.
“Endan Clarendon and Citlally Winterhawk have been granted security clearance,” the alien agent told the pink-skinned girl at the desk.
The girl was taller than most humans, but not as tall as the security alien. Her rosy color was mottled with spots of creamy ivory that ran down her cheeks and the sides of her neck. Since the backs of her hands were also spotted, Endan assumed that her arms also were, though he could not be sure, since she wore a long-sleeved jacket of the faintest grey as part of her uniform. Her hair was quite short– not even falling past her ears– though he was not sure whether it had shorn that way or if it would grow to that length. It was also white, and looked both thick and soft, as well as fluffy. Her eyes were slitted like a cat’s, a pale shade of yellow that startled him when she looked right at him.
“Yes, ma’am,” the pink-skinned girl said, and stepped aside to let the security agent type a few lines at her terminal. “I will see to it that they are checked in.”
The security agent nodded, and walked away without saying anything else, back through the door that they had just come through, and presumably back to the security room. A couple minutes later, another tall agent, this one male, came through the door with a group of passengers that Endan recognized from the shuttle. He was so distracted with watching them that he hardly realized that the pink-skinned girl was asking him a question.
“Endan!” Citlally scolded, grabbing his shoulder and shaking him to get his attention. “She is asking about the room you wanted.”
“Oh!” he replied, blinking and shaking his head as his pulled his mind away from the other group. “Yes, it was a very special room that I requested. Is it still available?”
“Yes, sir, of course,” she said in a soft, purring voice. “Your deposit ensured that you would have the room you asked for. Is that still the room you want, sir?”
Endan looked down at Citlally and smiled warmly. She raised a brow, clearly not understanding what he had planned. “It most certainly is,” he said.
The girl smiled to Citlally, seeming happy for her that she would be getting such a treat, then typed a few things into her terminal. “Your room key will be available as soon as we add your hand-prints to the key files. Please place your hands on the scanner here.” She gestured to a pad on the counter, where Endan laid his hands. When she nodded, it was Citlally’s turn.
“Thank you both,” she said with a smile. “Each door is coded to open to specific hand-prints, and your door is now set to open to both of yours.”
She placed two key-cards on the counter and added, “Your room will also open with these cards, should you prefer this method. They also grant you access to the meal center and entertainment sections. You will find information in your room about other amenities that your room level grants you access to here at Regulus Station II. May I answer any questions for you before you go?”
“Yes!” Citlally cut in before Endan could get a word in. “What is our room number?”
“Your room number is 3R-422. It is–“
“3R?!” Citlally exclaimed. “Endan, what did you–“
“Trust me,” he told her with a grin, “you are going to love it.
“Okay,” she conceded, though clearly still dubious, “but you did not have to go to any trouble…”
He winked and kissed the top of her head. “For you, nothing is ever any trouble.”
“Would you like help finding your room, sir?” the pink girl asked.
“Thank you, but no.” He picked up the key cards and handed one to Citlally.
“We do not mind exploring a bit on the way to our room. The important question is, where are our bags?”
She typed into her terminal, and read the screen that came up. “They have just cleared security and are being brought up to your room now.”
“Ah I see,” Endan replied with a nod. He took Citlally’s hand and thanked the agent as they walked away together.
It was not terribly hard to find the transports, which lifted them from the lower hub, past the first two rings to reach the third hub of the space station. It was a busy area, the wide hallways lined with shops and restaurants. Throbbing, fast-paced music and a rainbow of lights leaked out from an arched doorway at the far end of the hall, and they chuckled to one another that it must be quite the party down there.